Application of Reliability, Availability and Maintenance Principles and Tools for Ship Design

  • Vincent Le DiagonEmail author
  • Ningxiang Li
  • Loïc Klein
  • Philippe Corrignan


Reliability, Availability and Maintainability (RAM) is one of the most performing tools to assess the performance of a system, which is computed in terms of operational availability and its Life-Cycle Cost. Results from a RAM study allow identifying possible causes of operational losses and examining possible system improvements, making this analysis a tool for decision-making allowing costs versus benefits analysis. Reliability, Availability and Maintainability is not commonly addressed in ship design. However, the level of complexity and automation of ships is more and more increasing due to environmental regulations and economical concerns, with a clear trend towards future autonomous shipping. This calls for an evolution of the design of complex ships equipped with many systems, operated in complex multiple operational profiles and involved in critical operations, where malfunctions would result in large impacts on human, asset or the environment. In this context, key focus areas for ship design are ensuring and verifying safety and reliability, and accounting for the systems maintenance and Life-Cycle Cost. In this context, this chapter focuses on the applicability of RAM analysis to ship design. After an elicitation of the RAM objectives, an overview of existing analysis methods is presented. Then important items such as target ships, specificities of ship design, main ship systems to be analysed, RAM analysis process, most suitable methods, main required functionalities of RAM tool and availability of reliability data are discussed. The actual integration of RAM analysis in the global ship design process is to be developed and demonstrated within the HOLISHIP project.


Ship design System engineering Reliability Availability Maintainability RAM Life-Cycle Cost 


  1. Blanke M, Henriques M, Bang J (2017) A pre-analysis on autonomous ships. Technical University of Denmark.
  2. Brocken EM (2016) Improving the reliability of ship machinery: a step towards unmanned shipping. Mechanical, Maritime and Materials Engineering, Marine and Transport Technology, Ship Design, Production and Operations, Delft University of Technology.
  3. Bureau Veritas (2017) Guidelines for autonomous shipping, Guidance Note NI 641 DT R00 EGoogle Scholar
  4. Corrignan P, Le Diagon V, Torben S, de Jongh M, Rafine B, Le Nena R, Guegan A, Sagaspe L, de Bossoreille X (2018) System engineering-based design for safety and total cost of ownership. In: Proceedings of the 13th international marine design conference—IMDC2018, Helsinki, FinlandGoogle Scholar
  5. Davis CE, Graham WC (1982) Reliability analysis of large commercial vessel engine room automation systems, vol 1—Results. Final report for US Department of Transportation, United States Coast Guard, Office research and Development.
  6. DoD (2005) DoD guide for achieving reliability, availability and maintainability. US Department of Defence, August 2005.
  7. Ebrahimi A (2010) Effect analysis of reliability, availability, maintainability and safety (RAMS) parameters in design and operation of dynamic positioning (DP) systems in floating offshore structures. KTH, Royal Institute of Technology, School of Industrial Engineering, Department Production Engineering and Management.
  8. HOLISHIP (2016–2020) Holistic optimisation of ship design and operation for life cycle. Project funded by the European Commission, H2020- DG Research, Grant Agreement 689074,
  9. Jurjević M, Jurjević N, Koboević N (2012) Modelling of dynamic reliability stages of a ship propulsion system with safety and exhaust emission. Technical Gazette 19(1):159–165. ISSN 1330-3651, UDC/UDK [629.5.054.03:629.5.017]:519.217,
  10. McAvoy BR (ed) (1984) Proceedings ultrasonics symposium, IEEE. ISSN: 0090-5607Google Scholar
  11. MIL-HDBK-217F (1991) Military handbook reliability prediction of electronic equipmentGoogle Scholar
  12. OREDA (2009) Handbook on high quality reliability data for offshore equipment collected during OREDA Project, 5th edn, vol I. prepared by SINTEFGoogle Scholar
  13. Prosvirnova T (2014) AltaRica 3.0: a model-based approach for safety analyses, computational engineering, finance, and science [cs.CE] Ecole Polytechnique,
  14. Stapelberg RF (ed) (2009) Handbook of reliability, availability, maintainability and safety in engineering design. Springer Publishers, ISBN 978-1-84800-174-9 (print) 978-1-84800-175-6 (ebook)Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Vincent Le Diagon
    • 1
    Email author
  • Ningxiang Li
    • 1
  • Loïc Klein
    • 1
  • Philippe Corrignan
    • 1
  1. 1.Services DepartmentBureau Veritas Marine and OffshoreParis La DefenseFrance

Personalised recommendations